US Chemtura will not rule out selling consumer products business

06 May 2011 16:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemtura could sell its low-growth consumer products business, given the opportunity, the CEO of the US-based specialty chemicals producers said on Friday.

At the “right time”, Chemtura could seek to monetise the consumer products segment and invest the proceeds in higher value businesses, Craig Rogerson told analysts during Chemtura’s first-quarter results conference call.

Chemtura does not expect to achieve high sales or profit growth from the consumer products business, which is composed of household cleaners and pool and spa chemicals, Rogerson said.

“[It’s] not something that we expect high growth from, and we expect to grow this company,” he added.

The consumer products business had a tough first quarter, Rogerson said.

The segment recorded an operating loss of $3.0m (€2.1m), compared with an operating profit of $6m in the 2010 first quarter, as sales fell 14% year on year to $79m because of lower volumes and reduced selling prices.

The segment accounted for 11.3% of Chemtura’s overall 2011 first-quarter sales.

Going forward, Chemtura expects continued growth from its industrial segments – performance products and engineered products - to offset any softness in the consumer products business, Rogerson said.

On Thursday, Chemtura reported a first-quarter net profit of $7m from continuing operations, compared with a loss of $177m in the same period in 2010, reflecting its emergence from bankruptcy protection last year and a 16% year-on-year sales growth, to $699m.

Gross profit rose 20% year on year to $161m.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales rose to 23% in the first quarter, from 22% in the 2010 first quarter, as higher selling prices offset increased raw material and energy costs.  

($1 = €0.69)

For more on Chemtura and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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